Scania electrified vehicles, Södertälje,Sweden Photo: Kjell Olausson 2016

Scania has announced  that it will supply the world’s first right-hand drive Generation II, K320 UB 4×2 Hybrid bus to long-time customer, McHarry’s Buslines of Geelong, Victoria. 

The company said that discussions leading to the order for three hybrid vehicles was concluded in Melbourne in April during the visit to Australia of the Scania global President and CEO, Henrik Henriksson.

The first of the vehicles is expected to enter service later this year.

The order follows a fact-finding mission to Spain last year where McHarry’s general manager, Ashley McHarry, saw the hybrids in action in Madrid.

Madrid city’s bus operators have more than 100 hybrid Scania city buses in service and has established a stable reduction in diesel fuel consumption and emissions of up to 25 per cent.

The buses McHarry’s will put to work in Geelong are a Generation II version from Scania that allows the bus to run on battery power alone, either automatically, as determined by the on-board power management system, or when manually selected by the driver, a function known as “Silent Mode”. These are the first right-hand drive examples the factory has produced.

These Scania hybrid buses can travel on battery power alone up to 4 km and at speeds of up to 45 km/h on the flat at a gross weight of 15-tonnes, before the combustion engine restarts to recharge the batteries. To recharge the battery pack from empty takes around 30 minutes of engine running.

In typical operation, though, the bus will only run on battery power when approaching a stop or when pulling away. Buses fitted with electric drive are equipped with an electrohydraulic power steering pump, to enable the driver to retain full control when the combustion engine is switched off.

The Scania parallel hybrid powertrain system comprises a 9.0-litre 5-cylinder Euro 6 compliant diesel engine producing 320 hp, and 1600 Nm of torque, which is able to run on regular diesel, biodiesel or HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils) allowing for a CO2 reduction of *92%. It is mated to a Scania electric motor that can deliver up to an additional 177 hp (130 kW) and 1030 Nm of torque and is integrated into the Scania Opticruise automated 12-speed transmission. 

The motor is located between the clutch and the gearbox input shaft. This full integration of the electric motor gives a compact design and the interface between the gearbox and engine is maintained. The electric motor is cooled by gearbox oil, which is in turn cooled using the regular engine fan.

The system automatically and independently maximises electric motor operation as well as battery charging. The Scania Driver Support menu offers a feature specially designed for the hybrid, giving the driver direct dashboard feedback on how well their braking is regenerating battery charge. The feature grades the braking after certain situations and provides the driver with an average score.

“The Euro 6 diesel engine is the most efficient on the market today. In combination with the hybrid powertrain, operators will be able to lower their fuel costs by up to
25 % in normal operation,” said Julian Gurney, Director of Sales for Scania Australia Bus, Coach and Engines.

“The electric motor and the combustion engine are an outstanding team. Together they offer a winning combination of amazing driveability with swift responses to driver inputs. They also save fuel. By recovering brake energy and using the automatic start/stop-function at low power needs, operators will be able to substantially cut both fuel cost and emissions – and these reductions are even greater when running on battery only. 

“Scania has a well-established reputation globally for taking action to reduce emissions and fuel consumption for the benefit of its operators,” Julian said.

“In addition to already supplying a large number of first-generation hybrid buses to European operators, we have begun to deliver a second generation that allows the vehicle to run on battery power alone.

“Concurrent with our roll out of hybrid diesels in Europe we have a wide range of alternative, renewable and sustainable fuel-friendly engine options for bus operators to consider, and we have full battery electric powered buses on test in real world conditions, and the first examples of operator fleet vehicles are being delivered,” Julian said.

“If an operator were to run a Scania Hybrid on biodiesel or HVO, they would emit around *92% less CO2 from the tailpipe.

“In Australia, Scania has been signing MOUs with alternative fuel suppliers in order to provide bus operators the opportunity to run city buses on bio-diesel, bioethanol or CNG powered vehicles, in order to make a positive effort to reduce air pollution in densely packed urban areas.

“As a result of the extraordinarily long working lives of Australian city buses, compared with Europe for instance, there are very many buses still on our roads, or carrying our school children, that have out-dated emission control systems fitted.

“Scania is hoping that the arrival of the hybrid bus, the availability of alternative fuels and the not-too-distant arrival of electric buses will focus attention of the state governments and operators on the easy and practical steps they can take to make a difference to urban air quality,” Julian said.